Thursday, August 6, 2009

Making the Most of Maine's Resources

In my last post I wrote about “Mentoring Ali”, a young woman from Falmouth, Maine who developed her own “film” degree at Williams College and wants to pursue a career behind the camera. The outpouring of positive feedback and advice was terrific and I was able to pass along wonderful technical advice from professionals who currently work in media production to powerful words of encouragement from people who are inspired by Ali’s willingness to simply “go for it”.

So how do we reach out to others in Ali’s 18-34 group that continue to leave the state of Maine at an alarming rate?

How about the University of Maine working with or taking over the film office? A curriculum could be developed, a professor could over see it, students could bring the film office communication into the 21st century with streaming video, a website that is proactive, facebook, Twitter, MySpace, we’d have “built in” location scouts in 7 different locations around the state, education credits could be earned by students working on local independent films and we’d actually be tapping into young people in a creative and powerful way. They would be learning at the same time that they are bringing business to Maine.

This isn’t an original idea. The State of Missouri has combined forces with Missouri University and the results have been terrific.

Steve Wyatt is the Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development for the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering who serves as the Statewide Business Development Program Director for University Extension writes, “The university partnership with the state has been great. The partnership allows the Film Office to take advantage of the strengths of the University and the state. Since the move, we have nearly tripled tax credits for the industry, increased office budget, increased awareness, and increased private support. This year we landed a movie with George Clooney entitled Up in the Air which is scheduled to be released late fall or early winter.”

There is a lot to do to make this happen. I’ve started the process by reaching out to the key people. If you are interested in getting involved or have ideas send me an email. I plan on doing everything I can to help young people like Ali live and express their creativity in Maine.


Barney Martin said...

It goes without saying that it is this kind of vision and leadership that is going to drive Maine into the future in media production or any venture the state chooses to focus on. Including a private entity that would work in partnership with this public option would complete this idea imho.

The extent to which merging the film office function with the university system is even more reaching beyond the ways expressed in this blog. It would also connect Maine - ALL of Maine - in this media industry from Kittery to Fort Kent, Machias to the Western mountains, and all possible shooting locations and towns/cities in between. We also have a world class, internationally known film training school in Rockport called the Maine Media Workshops that will add immeasurably to this solution.

With the proper leadership, anything is possible. Once this idea takes off with the right leaders, who knows where this could take Maine...

Bravo Cameron for bringing this forward. Your committment, drive, and passion for this industry and for all things you give focus have been inspiring to many. I look forward to working with you on implementing this solution in whatever way I can.

Lastly, I shout out to all of you who have been reading this blog in the 2 years it has existed. I implore you to let others know how you feel about moving this industry forward by leaving your comments attached to these blog entries. Your ideas, support, and participation is paramount to this industry succeeding for our state... Cameron's activism is only a catalyst to what should be a general call to action to the Mainers who are in this industry, those whose business would benefit from this industry, to those who believe it is a good industry for Maine, who, by banding together, ALL want to see this industry succeed for our great state.

susana said...

Hello People, I was on a holiday for a month just passing by read this interesting post its great to see that every thing here is getting more lively...thanks a lot for these keep them coming....

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